No matter what the brochures or websites might tell you, the truth is no college or degree program can guarantee you a job after you graduate. Landing your dream job takes work, preparation, discipline, and time—and a robust résumé doesn’t hurt, either.
But that said, some colleges will prepare you a lot better than others.
When you’re choosing which school is the right fit for you, it’s important to ask the right questions to determine which colleges will do the most to prepare you for life after graduation.
(Now would be a good time to start taking notes)
1. Where are recent grads working?
Find out what recent graduates from the school you are considering are doing in the first six months-to-a-year after graduation. You might ask about job placement rates or which companies tend to hire alumni from your school or department.
2. How many graduates are working in the field in which they earned their degree?
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “Life is what happens when making other plans.” This is especially true for job seekers. Sometimes your degree can lead to surprising careers (and that’s okay!), but you may be interested in knowing how many recent graduates ended up working in a field related to their degree.
3. Does the school have any particularly strong industry connections?
Maybe your school has an ongoing relationship with local medical and wellness providers, or a research agreement with a local wildlife preserve, or works closely with a specific urban development nonprofit. These kinds of connections could lead to internship opportunities while you’re still in school or job opportunities after you graduate.
4. Would national (or international) employers recognize your school by name?
Maybe your college is known locally, but what if you find the perfect job opening half a continent away? Would the employer know your school by name—and more importantly, would they be impressed?
6. How big is the alumni network? How active are alumni?
A robust alumni network is a great asset to have after you graduate. Ideally, alumni look out for one another and stay connected to their school long after they move on. Find out about opportunities to connect with your school’s alumni and professional network, and how you can get involved once you have your degree.
7. What career resources does the school offer students?
This could come in the form of internship, externship, and cooperative education opportunities, or a department or office dedicated to helping students craft their résumés, prep for interviews, and seek out jobs. Many schools also host career fairs to connect students with prospective employers. Find out how hard your school will work to help you land your career. What kind of resources do they offer to you as an alumnus?
If you’re already thinking about your plans after graduation before you even pick your school, congratulations—you’re on the right track to a pretty amazing future.
Next Steps: Download the IPFW Viewbook
As Indiana’s only Multisystem Metropolitan University, IPFW combines the global prestige of two prominent institutions—Indiana University and Purdue University—our beautiful nearly 700-acre campus, all at an affordable rate and right here in Fort Wayne.
We offer a variety of opportunities with more than 200 academic programs, tons of scholarship and financial aid options, and an incredible student experience with luxury housing options, 14 NCAA Division I athletics programs, and more than 120 student organizations—and so much more.